Skip to main content

Full text of "Mathura A District Memoir"

See other formats


THE TEMPLE OF R^DHl GOPJtU                                      263
but all is rendered of no avail by the abominable taste of the design. The
facade with its uncouth pediment, flanked by sprawling monsters, and its row
of life-size female figures in meretricious, but at the same time most ungrace-
ful, attitudes, resembles nothing so much as a disreputable London casino:
a severe, though doubtless unintended, satire, on the part of the architect; on the
character of the divinity to whom it is consecrated. Ten lakhs of rupees are
said to have been wasted on its construction.*
In striking contrast to this tasteless edifice is the temple of Radha
Indra Kishor, built by Rani Indrajit Kunvar, widow of Het Kam3 Brahman
zamindar, of Tikari by Gaya. It was six years in building, aad was completed
at the end of 1871. It is a square of seventy feet divided into three aisles of
five bays each, with a fourth space of equal dimensions for the reception of the
god. The sikhara is surmounted with a copper kalas, or finial. heavily gilt,
which alone cost Es. 5,000. The piers are composed of four conjoined pillars,
each shaft being a single piece of stone, brought from the Paharpcr quarry in
Bharatpnr territory. The building is raised on a high and enriched plinth,
and the entire design is singularly light and graceful. Its cost has been three
lakhs.
The temple of Ridha Gopal, built by the Maharaja of Gwaliar raider the
direction of his guru Brafamachari Giridhari Das, is also entitled to some special
notice. The interior is an exact counterpart of an Italian church and would be an
excellent model for onr architects to follow, since it secures to perfection both
free ventilation and a softened light. It consists of a nave 58 feet long, -with
four aislesj two on either side, a sacraium 21 feet in depth and a narthex of the
same dimensions at the entrance. The outer aisles of the nave? instead of being
closed in with solid walls, have open arches stopped only with wooden bars; and
the tier of windows above gives on to a balcony and verandah. Thus any glare
of light is impossible. The building was opened for religious service in 18605
and as it stands has cost four lakhs of rupees. The exterior has a mean and un-
sightly appearance, which might be obviated by the substitution of reticulated
stone tracery for the wooden bars of .the outer arches below and a more sub-
stantial balcony and verandah in lieu of the present ricketty erection above. An
entrance gateway is now being added.
* In imitation of the bad example thus set, a new temple dedicated to Radtai Cropil wag built
In I87S by Lila Braj Kisfoor, a wealthy resident of Shah jah&npur, where lie is district treasnter.
It fag a long frontage facing one of the principal streets, with a continuous balcony to the upper
•tciy, in which each pillar is a elumgily carved stone figare of a Sfok&i9 or * dsndBg girL*